I was stationed at Leconfield in 1958 -1959 during the time the runway was being reconstructed adding concrete touch-down pads/ taxiways in readiness for the arrival of 19 and 72 Squadrons (great C&M days just a few of us there about six in the Sgt’s Mess it was great!) As I recall Church Fenton people were not too happy about moving to Leconfield and to be honest we liked Leconfield the way it was on C&M too! However all these issues disappeared very quickly shortly after the move and everyone settled in very well.. in fact Leconfield was one of the best airfields I served at during my 12 years in the RAF.. morale was extremely high and we all had great fun working there! Yogi Bear and Bubu were very popular on TV at that time and everyone could perform a fair imitation of one or the other.
Church Fenton had a great jazz band that entertained regularly on Saturday nights at the Mess…lots of young local girls from Beverley attended too. Church Fenton Sgt’s Mess had a “surplus” of funds which could not be moved to Leconfield (had to go into a central Mess pot) so a huge party was arranged with tons of food/ drink ..it was fantastic -sides of roast beef / pork the lot…never seen a feast like it before or since! Ronnie Hilton a very popular singer (with a No. 1 record in the hit parade at that time) who lived in Leeds attended the fund-spending party as did a lot of other local York/Leeds dignitaries…it was a great night…and a lot of fun was had by all…yes, those were indeed wonderful times!
In late 1959, 202 winched the former CF Fire Chief, who retired shortly after moving to Leconfield, from off the top of the water tower, flew around the station with him “dangling” below the helicopter waving good-bye to us all gathered outside, below -before ferrying him to RAF Biggin Hill where he was taking on the job of Sgt’s Mess Steward!
Lot of great characters in 19, 72 and 202 Squadron/ station staff just happened to come together at RAF Leconfield in 1959 -making those days perhaps the most fun-filled and memorable of my career in the air force and I am sure a lot of other folks too!